Spirit Writing is the duo of Jaime Fennelly and Jon Mueller. Using harmonium, synthesizers, drums and voice, with occasional guest contributions, they produce raw, flowing music that is as much about the present as the past. While their sound is distinctly in the moment, the rhythms and harmonies reference patterns and layers that are seemingly timeless; the dreamlike familiarity of the collective human experience. For those familiar with the member's individual output, Fennelly's Mind Over Mirrors' rich tapestry of driven melodies, and Mueller's solo and Death Blues ecstatic pounding, this should come as no surprise. However, a new experience awaits all who will witness it. For this ESS performance, Spirit Writing will also include cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.
"Toupee are one of Chicago's most interesting bands, both visually and sonically, and they put on a live show you won't soon forget. Everybody swaps instruments unrelentingly, so that Nick Hagen (guitar, some bass), Mark Ragassi (bass, some drums), Scott Frigo (guitar, some drums), and front woman Whitney Allen (guitar, bass, or just singing) never stay in the same configuration for long. Allen cavorts about in one of several hairy monster masks, drawing on a seemingly bottomless repertoire of odd sarcastic dances, ritualistic motions, and pure freak-out moves—and when the mask comes off, the mad staring eyes under her postapocalyptic hairdon't look like they can melt glass. The rest of the band keeps up with Allen's mesmerizing Wendy O. Williams-meets-Nico trip, veering from Killed by Death punk squalls to slow-building abstract rambles that would make NY art-punks like Television or weirdo New Zealanders like the Garbage & the Flowers sit up and take notice. In March Toupee released their first full-length LP, Dinner Parties, on the Rotted Tooth label (all screen-printed sleeves, all the time), but the way to hear this stuff is in the flesh—they're one weird-ass sexy band." —Steve Krakow, Chicago Reader
"[Matthew] Schneider’s work under the Moon Bros. moniker is time-out-of-mind cooing folk played at painstakingly patient speeds—a decorous and underheard contribution to the ambient folk fray. Perhaps his recordings are projections of future scores to Cormac McCarthy adaptations; perhaps front porch Dust Bowl blues gospel. Either way, Schneider is a pointedly preeminent experimental guitarist in this day and age." —International Anthem
Beer generously supplied by our friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company.